Niche that Brought Croatian Economy Billions Annually is Failing

Lauren Simmonds

Updated on:

As Marija Crnjak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the pandemic calls into question the survival of the organisation of concerts and music festivals across Croatia, a business that generated at least 4.5 billion kuna in revenue in the years before this crisis struck. In order to enable Croatian residents and the country´s guests to enjoy this very important part of culture in the future, it is necessary to establish a recovery fund in the field of concert activities, warned the Association of Promo Concert Organisers, whose members have not earned income for a year now.

They noted that concerts and music festivals, since the very announcement of the pandemic, were the first thing to be disabled and will more than likely be the very last thing to come back to life. The problem affects not only them, but also a number of other activities that live off the festivals themselves, from companies which deal with renting out professional stage equipment, to travel companies, security companies, hauliers, and even transport logistics. What once brought the Croatian economy billions without the country itself really having to do much now seems a very distant memory indeed.

“In the year dominated by the pandemic, there was no possibility for the safe organisation of concerts or music festivals in the format that audiences and musicians expect and have come to know so well, but professional concert and festival organisers in Europe were preparing to create preconditions for safe concerts and music festivals in the style of the ¨new normal¨, they pointed out from the association which, as part of the European network of professional organisers of concerts and music festivals, worked on the possibilities of the safe holding of concerts and music festivals during the pandemic.

The Promo Association believes that the recovery fund should provide the necessary liquidity incentive to companies in the concert industry of at least 10 percent of the turnover seen back in pre-pandemic, record 2019 so that Croatia does not simply become a concert desert on the European map.

“The main criterion of the recovery fund should be the strengthening of international competitiveness in order to maintain and improve the concert, club and festival scene with both quality and quantity. The recovery fund should keep the jobs of educated professionals in the concert industry and should also help rental companies,¨ they stated from the association and reminded that the vast majority of EU countries have already supported their concert industry throughout 2020 and will continue to do so in 2021. What gave the Croatian economy billions in annual revenue surely deserves the same.

Meanwhile, research is being carried out on measures by which we might be able to safely hold music festivals even in these dire, depressing pandemic conditions, and in addition to vaccines, rapid coronavirus tests are the most important tool, as we wrote recently.

At the level of the European working group, a study was prepared for the safe holding of music festivals, in the preparation of which, in addition to music professionals, scientists also participated. In addition to the study, scientific research has been conducted in Germany and Spain to test the risk of spreading the infection at concerts and festivals indoors, and research is underway in the Netherlands and Israel to confirm the hypothesis of safe large outdoor events. Further research has been announced in Spain, France and Germany with a larger number of respondents in the audience.

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